MADISON, Wis. – The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents will honor this year’s recipients of the Academic Staff Awards for Excellence at its regular board meeting July 11 in Madison. This is the UW System’s highest recognition bestowed on members of its academic staff.

The 2013 recipients, including two individuals and one program, are:

  • Susan Greene, Institutional Planner, Office of Planning, Assessment, Research and Quality (PARQ), UW-Stout.  Susan is the main point of contact for graduate students at UW-Stout, providing assistance with thesis research from planning methodology to assisting with data analysis and interpretation. She has also put in place project management tools that have allowed the number of graduate student projects to double over the past three years. She developed award-winning apps to track project tasks and timelines, and developed templates for standardized plans and reports. She provides similar consultations to faculty and staff, and is well-known campus-wide for her statistical and research expertise. Susan is credited with raising the bar for the entire campus when it comes to using data for decision-making, and has substantially enhanced the reputation of the PARQ office both on campus and off. She has received regional and national recognition for her work, including CACUBO’s 2nd place Best Practices Award in 2010 and NACUBO’s Models of Efficiency Award in 2011.
  • Freda Briscoe, Director, Minority Business and Minority Teacher Preparation programs, UW-Whitewater. Under Freda’s leadership, first-generation and underrepresented students participating in the Minority Business and Minority Teacher Preparation programs have increased GPAs as well as enhanced retention and graduation rates. Freda also initiated UW-Whitewater’s Summer Business Institute as a resource for incoming freshmen students of color who may have an interest in business, offering not only an introduction to university life but also reinforcing life skills such as financial responsibility, goal-setting, and personal health and safety. As a proponent of high-impact practices, she frequently helps lead study abroad student groups to Ghana, South Africa, and Brazil. She has previously received several awards, including UW System’s Outstanding Woman of Color Award and UW-Whitewater’s 2012 Academic Staff Service Excellence Award.
  • Distance Learning Center, UW-Platteville.  Led by Executive Director Dawn Drake and Director Dan Avenarius, the Distance Learning Center – more commonly known as UW-Platteville Online – focuses on creating degree programs and services at the graduate and undergraduate level to meet the needs of non-traditional, place-bound students – typically, working adults with families. Students can apply for admission, apply for financial aid, register and pay for classes, order textbooks, access library resources, receive grades, and much more, all online. Interest in the Learning Center’s offerings has boomed. In 2000-01, it logged 185 course registrations; in 2011-12, there were 2,900. UW-Platteville’s “one-stop-shop” approach to online programs is considered a model for distance education programs nationally. UW-Platteville, a pioneer in distance education for 35 years, provides eight degrees entirely online: master’s degrees in organizational change leadership, project management, criminal justice, engineering, distance education leadership and integrated supply chain management, and bachelor’s degrees in business administration and criminal justice.

“These award-winners reflect the high caliber and dedication of our academic staff systemwide,” said Regent Mark Tyler, chair of the selection committee. “Their commitment to academic quality and student success is inspiring, and we are honored to recognize their wide-ranging and significant accomplishments on behalf of our students and campus communities.”

In addition to Tyler, award committee members included Regent Tim Higgins, Student Regent Tracy Hribar, and Regent Gerald Whitburn.

Each winner receives a $5,000 award for professional development to enhance their program or function. Academic staff members and programs from each of the UW institutions were nominated for this year’s awards.

Media Contacts

Sara Kuhl UW-Whitewater (262) 472-1194
Paul Erickson UW-Platteville (608) 342-1194
Doug Mell UW-Stout (715) 232-1198
David Giroux UW System (608) 262-4464